The Simon Barrow Column

Reflecting on how Christian political imagination can help change society's agenda. Follow Simon on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/simonbarrow

  • 19 Nov 2007

    Trying to make workplaces religion free is no solution to human fears about 'the other', says Simon Barrow, reflecting on recent cases of controversy involving religious dress and symbols in schools and companies.

  • 13 Nov 2007

    Modern democratic politics is in danger of turning into a beauty contest and an electoral pantomime, says Simon Barrow. It needs reconnecting with people in civil society, changing institutions and the grassroots.

  • 2 Nov 2007

    The calls for Sir Ian Blair's resignation as chief of the Metropolitan police may be a distraction from the real issues, says Simon Barrow, reflecting on the 2005 Stockwell terror shooting tragedy.

  • 17 Oct 2007

    Ekklesia is a think tank that promotes fresh forms of thought - without relying on tanks. In an interview with SCM, Simon Barrow explains what the deal is with post-Christendom and how to respond to the fuss about religion.

  • 25 Sep 2007

    One of the more intriguing aspects of Gordon Brown's first Labour party conference speech as serving prime minister was his decision to use consciously biblical language as part of his argument against those employing religious rhetoric to oppose his family policy.

  • 10 Sep 2007

    Talk of the efficacy or otherwise of the surge is a smokescreen, says Simon Barrow. There is no long-term military solution to Iraq’s nightmare. But viable alternatives are being sought within civil society.

  • 7 Sep 2007

    There is a growing disconnect with the aspirations of people whose concerns are not adequately mapped by the narrow economic, political and social assumptions of the main political parties, says Simon Barrow. Are we moving into post-democracy?

  • 13 Aug 2007

    In an era where a basic understanding of what Christianity is about cannot be taken for granted, Simon Barrow welcomes a new book by philosopher and theologian Keith Ward which clears some ground and opens up issues.

  • 8 Aug 2007

    Sharing bread and wine is not just an odd church ritual, says Simon Barrow. It is an embodied symbol of a new world coming – one in which we need to be radically changed if we are going to be part of the solution not part of the problem.

  • 1 Aug 2007

    Gordon Brown will be less overt in his faith agenda and less establishment in his church instincts, suggests Simon Barrow. But religion and public life will remain hot political issues.

  • 30 Jul 2007

    Religiously constructed rows over sorcery, metaphor and meaning in Harry Potter are hardly new, as Simon Barrow has personal reason to know. He suggests we all chill out and finding meaning not menace in the narrative.

  • 21 Jul 2007

    At the root of death-dealing religion and ideology is fear, says Simon Barrow. The biggest challenge we face today is how to challenge cultures of death from within, replacing the logic of the sword with an invitation to life.

  • 14 Jul 2007

    An easy assumption that religion is less dangerous when it is 'less religious' is wrong, says Simon Barrow. As an article in the International Herald Tribune points out, the path from death to life is found within as well as beyond each tradition.

  • 14 Jul 2007

    Gordon Brown, artfully manoeuvred into Downing Street, will have little room to operate in for the social justice agenda. But what space there is will be created by the power of imagination, says Simon Barrow. Look at the example of Northern Ireland.

  • 16 Jun 2007

    The determination of some religious and anti-religious people to blame each other for the world's evils is part of a damaging drift to fanaticism, argues Simon Barrow. What we all need is self-critique and hopefulness.